Some things never go completely out of style.
The Army is issuing new World War II-inspired uniforms to trainees, soldiers, drill instructors and officers across the branch.
Fort Jackson in Columbia, one of the nation’s largest basic training locations, will be one of the first bases to get the throwback threads.
Dubbed the “pink and greens” by service members in the 1940s (one of the pants had a pink hue, according to military clothiers), the new uniform includes one green jacket, khaki pants, a khaki dress shirt and brown oxford shoes.
There’s also matching socks, one long- and short-sleeved T-shirt, a tie, gloves and a garrison cap, which is a flat and straight-sided, foldable hat.
The outfit was prolific during America’s wars in the European and Pacific theaters and has become more familiar to recent generations as they were shown in hundreds of modern-day Hollywood movies and TV shows.
Earlier this month, some 200 new privates nearing the end of basic training at Fort Sill, Okla., were fitted for their new uniforms. The Army is next expected to begin issuing them to trainees at Fort Leonard Wood in Missouri, Fort Benning in Georgia and Fort Jackson.
L.A. Sully, a spokeswoman at Fort Jackson, said they’ve been available to purchase at the clothing store on base since Oct. 1. They will be widely distributed by April 2021.
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Brig. Gen. Milford H. Beagle Jr., Fort Jackson’s commander, said he thinks the uniforms are “sharp” and he likes the color combination. He has already worn it for several occasions at the Columbia military base.
“Most will say, ‘My dad, granddad or other wore that uniform,’ or ‘We have a picture in our home of our uncle in that uniform,'” Beagle said. “Some comments I’ve heard from retirees are, ‘I’d re-join the Army if I could get issued those.'”
The uniforms will not become mandatory until 2027, when they will replace the recognizable formal dress blues and become the service’s every day, office-setting attire.
The cost of the WWII-inspired uniforms is around $500, but that price is expected to drop as the Army streamlines production of the green outfits.
Soldiers will also be able to purchase additional add-ons for the uniform including the “Ike” jacket, inspired by the cropped coat made famous by Gen. Dwight Eisenhower during World War II.
Col. Eric Flesch, commander of the 165th Infantry Brigade at Fort Jackson, said he was hesitant about the change. But after putting the new uniform on, he thought it was pretty iconic.
“I wasn’t sure how I would feel about going through another uniform change, yet again,” Flesch said. “But, after wearing it for the first time and seeing the response, I was extremely proud of the Army’s decision. It felt like the uniform said something about me and I think it really draws a tie to our history and the team we belong to, past and present.”